My favorite place was the old boathouse at our family cabin on Lake Vermilion. My younger sister and I spent every summer there, and it gave us some of our best childhood memories.
My grandfather built the boathouse in the mid-1950s, a short distance from the main cabin. Later, he added an attached bunkhouse as a place where we and our friends could roughhouse, listen to music and make all the noise we wanted. A three-sided section held a 16-foot Alumacraft boat that sat on a rusty ramp.
Sadly, time and freezing winters took their toll. The boathouse’s wooden sides looked like they were hugging each other to stay standing. The whole building leaned as if trying to listen to the ground and water below. The outer walls were painted yellow and the inside walls were unfinished wood with oddly placed posters. A single beam held up the roof. Some of the ceiling boards were missing so you could see the wiring that ran to the light fixtures.
We slept there every night. I think I had the best place to sleep. It was underneath a huge window overlooking the lake. Almost every night, I could see millions of twinkling stars in the sky. Loons sang out each night. On a windless morning, I woke up to a glass lake beneath me.
The best nights were when a thunderstorm moved in. The boathouse creaked from the winds and waves crashing on its front side — the side where I slept. Sometimes we ran up the narrow path to the sturdy cabin. It was a little scary, but it still was fun.
Several years ago, the boathouse was torn down, and the cabin was sold. I painted this picture to remember all the wonderful times I had there.
Katie Watson, Bloomington